Lake Central Airlines Inaugural Flight Certificate to Lima, Ohio signed by Company Officers with Dr. Robert Stewart as President - 1954
Lake Central Airlines was an airline that served points in the midwestern and eastern United States from 1950 to 1968, when it merged into Allegheny Airlines.
The first Nord 262 for Lake Central was delivered in August 1965
The airline was founded as Roscoe Turner Airlines; it was based at Weir Cook Airport (now Indianapolis International Airport) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lake Central's network in the 1950s extended from Chicago to Pittsburgh; in August 1953 it scheduled flights to 21 airports and in May 1968 to 39. It flew Douglas DC-3, Convair 340, Convair 580, Beechcraft Bonanza, and Nord 262 aircraft. By the spring of 1968, Lake Central was operating an all-turboprop fleet of Convair 580 and Nord 262 passenger aircraft.
Like other local service airlines regulated by the federal Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Lake Central was subsidized; in 1962, its operating revenues of $10.8 million included $4.2 million of public service revenue.
In February 1955, Lake Central Airlines became the first employee-owned scheduled airline in the history of the air transport industry. 162 employees (65% of the total) bought 97.5% of the outstanding stock, 25% outright and the rest financed over 24 months.
Effective July 1, 1968, the airline was acquired by and merged into Allegheny Airlines. Allegheny later closed the Indianapolis base and sold the Nord 262 aircraft, which had proven not to be reliable.Lake Central was also planning on acquiring new Boeing 737-200 jetliners; however, the acquisition of the airline by Allegheny resulted in the order being cancelled and Lake Central did not take delivery of or operate 737 jets.
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